2.17.2013

I like some of the mistakes I've made in creating photographs.



Only one of three flashes fired. The sync speed on the old Pentax 67 was 1/30th of a second and I was hand holding the camera.  One side is over exposed while the other side is wildly underexposed. When I tried to print the negative nothing really worked. And yet, years later I've realized that I really like the image. It has an energy that perfect portraits rarely achieve.

I'm glad I didn't have Polaroid or instant review because in my pursuit of "correct technique" I would surely have thrown away the image and moved on. I have many technically correct images that are much less interesting to me. The camera doesn't have to be an exacting Xerox machine in order to make your own art. Not always.

11 comments:

Pete Appleby said...

I like it, too. It is interesting, it has a somewhat mysterious aura. The fact that the shadow goes down her nose makes it very dramatic.

ezpoppy said...

In the history of photography, there have been images that are technically "flawed" and stand out as images of not just historical significance but as aesthetic masterpieces as well. Certainly the work of Robert Capra's mise en scene of the D-Day invasion come to mind. Not only do the processing 'flaws' not detract from the power of those images, they actually add a dimensionality to them, a vibrance that resonates still, and a palpable energy that makes them the stand out photographs they are.

Conversely, I have seen far too many technically "perfect" images that are absolutely devoid of any interest at all.

FWIW, I like this portrait too.

Marino Mannarini said...

i can't find the english translation, it is originally a french book http://www.amazon.com/Breve-historia-fotografico-Spanish-Edition/dp/6074551901/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361178845&sr=8-1&keywords=clement+cheroux+error . Worth a read, IMO :)

Wolfgang Lonien said...

Wonderful.

thequietphotographer said...

i like this. I much prefer a photo with a character, a soul in it and some technical failure than a technically perfect photo without soul, as I see in many amateur contests.
robert
PS: of course it does not mean as photographers we do not need to know the technical side of our passion.

Clay Olmstead said...

The model's expression is perfect, too. Makes you wonder what's going on in that shadow. A happy accident.

Carlo Santin said...

Mistakes made on film can be wonderful. If you had shot this on a digital cam there is a good chance you would have simply deleted it for being fuzzy, or the ibis on the camera would have compensated for the slow shutter speed, ruining quite an interesting and effective photograph.

Jim said...

I love happy accidents. They are a large reason I enjoy film photography and an almost essential element with rangefinder photography.

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yoram Nevo said...

Reminds of Patti Smith horses cover

Kirk Tuck said...

Hmmm. Me too.